Property valuations are going up in the Omaha metro area — for almost every homeowner in Sarpy County and more than half the homeowners in Douglas County.
In Douglas County, roughly one of every four homeowners can expect an increase of at least $20,000.
If you think your new valuation number is off, you have an opportunity to flag your property with the county assessor so you can sit down to discuss it ahead of the formal appeals process.
The World-Herald analyzed the preliminary tax valuations released this month by both county assessors’ offices. Property owners received notices in the mail this month and can check online to get more information. (Douglas’s property lookup is: http://www.dcassessor.org/valuation-lookup. In Sarpy: apps.sarpy.com/sarpyproperty)
Almost every homeowner in Sarpy County — nearly 97 percent — can expect an increase. That’s typical practice in a county that tries to keep every property in step with the real estate market every year.
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Relatively few properties — about 2,200 — are in line for an increase of $20,000 or more over last year’s figure. That represents less than 5 percent of the homes with an increase.
The situation differs in Douglas County, which revalues parts of the county every year, but not every residential property at once.
In Douglas County, more than half the core residential properties that The World-Herald analyzed — 53 percent — received a preliminary increase. That represents more than 84,000 homes.
Out of the rest of homeowners, about 39 percent — some 62,000 property owners — had no change in the new figures. The remaining 12,000 homeowners are in line for a decrease.
Among those getting increases, 45 percent of them — or 38,000 homeowners — are in line for an increase of $20,000 or more, according to the newspaper’s analysis.
About 10 percent of people getting an increase will see a hike of $43,000 or more.
Official property valuations are due out by June 1, and people can file a full protest in June.
For now, homeowners in Douglas and Sarpy Counties can take issue with their property valuation and schedule an in-person meeting with an official from their Assessor’s Office.
In Douglas County, property owners must notify the Assessor’s Office by Friday that they want to meet. People can call 402-444-6734, email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off their information at the Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds Office on the fourth floor at 1819 Farnam St. You can also mail information to: Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds, Attn: Preliminary Valuation, 1819 Farnam St., 4th floor, Omaha, NE 68183.
If you have to leave a phone message, the Assessor’s Office will contact everyone who left their name and number to schedule a meeting, chief office deputy Larry Miller said. People who mail information by Friday can still get an appointment, Miller said.
You’ll want to check to make sure your home’s square footage, number of rooms, features such as decks or pools and other information are correct. Also, look up the tax valuations, sale prices and price per square foot of comparable homes in and around your neighborhood to see if your home is outside the norm.
The Sarpy County Assessor’s Office will schedule meetings with homeowners who reach out before March 1. You can call the office at 402-593-2122. “The Assessor’s Office can address many issues and corrections without the need for a formal protest, saving property owners time and effort,” the office said in a press release.